Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

“Albany Times Union: Schneiderman Leads Lawsuit Against EPA Over Air Pollution”

December 27, 2017

As published by The Albany Times Union, on December 26, 2017.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing the Trump administration over air pollution.

Schneiderman and seven other attorneys general sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in federal court for rejecting a petition aimed at lowering smog pollution from nine coal-dependent Midwestern and Southern states, Schneiderman said Tuesday.

He wants to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review the EPA’s decision. 

“Millions of New Yorkers are breathing unhealthy air as smog pollution continues to pour in from other states,” Schneiderman said in a news release. “The federal government has a fundamental responsibility to act. Yet the Trump EPA has abandoned its responsibilities – repeatedly failing to act to control smog pollution that jeopardizes New Yorkers’ health.”

New York and 10 other so-called “downwind” states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont) and Washington D.C. are part of an “Ozone Transport Region” created by the federal Clean Air Act .

States in the program must work together to try to control pollutants that contribute to the formation of smog. Schneiderman’s news release said despite strong controls on pollutants, many states in the program still cannot meet federal health-based air quality standards for smog because of smog from the “upwind” states.

In 2013, the states filed a petition to add nine of those states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia) into the program.

On Oct. 27, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt denied the petition.

A spokesperson for the EPA said, “The agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.”